the Great Wall of China

Beijing is an incredible city with days’ worth of activities and sights to see. It is also a fantastic base to head out for the day to one of the great wonders of the world – the Great Wall of China.

Image by Helen Klaebe

Image by Helen Klaebe

The Great Wall of China was built between 220-206 BC by the first Emperor of China. Despite what the Bigpond advertisement says it was not built to keep the rabbits out. In fact, it was built for border controls for the Silk Road and to keep out intruders. The wall is made up of sections equaling to around 6259km in length.

Image by Helen Klaebe

Image by Helen Klaebe

Get out of the city and visit this masterpiece by heading to the Mutianyu Section of the wall. Hire a driver to take you for the 2 hour drive (depending on traffic). On your way stop by The Schoolhouse Canteen and pick up a sandwich for lunch on the wall.

Image by Helen Klaebe

Image by Helen Klaebe

Upon arrival and after buying tickets keep walking to the top of the hill and get on the gondola up to the top of the wall. Make sure to not get steered to the chairlift direction. Continue walking to the end to jump on the glass gondola to take you to the top of the wall where find an incredible view awaiting you.

Image by Helen Klaebe

Image by Helen Klaebe

You then have two options – walk to your left and do the tough walk up to the top of a wall still in complete original condition and which is currently being restored. Just be careful as the steps can get very skinny and very steep in sections.

Or option two is to turn right and head down the wall. Heading down this way you won’t have to work too hard which means you can enjoy the view more. Take your time along the way. Soak up the beauty and enormous size of the wall that stretches for miles and miles in either direction. If you get hungry, find a nice spot to sit down and enjoy the sandwich you picked up earlier (not many people can say they have had a picnic lunch on top of the Great Wall). Walking from the top of the gondola to the ‘chairlift’ section will take around two hours.

Image by Paula Harrigan

Image by Paula Harrigan

If it’s not raining we recommend, instead of the chairlift, taking the luge back down the wall. This is honestly the best way to get off the wall. It is fast, fun and will completely top off your Great Wall experience.

Go to the Great Wall of China:

When: The best time to head to the Great Wall of China is during the spring (April to May) or autumn months (September – October). Even though these months can still be quite cool on the wall, summer can get over 40oC and winter can get down to below -20oC.

Where: the Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall of China is around a 2 hour drive from Beijing (depending on traffic). Hire a driver for the day from your hotel. We suggest leaving around 7:30/8am.

How much: General admission is 45 RMB ($9 AUD), Gondola/chairlift/toboggan is around 60RMB ($12 AUD) each way.

What to bring: bring a small day pack with water, money, camera (battery charged), and wear good walking shoes. It is also best to wear layers, you can always take off as you are walking.

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